This year, the theme of Children’s Mental Health Week, is “building resilience” and teaching children how to “bounce forward” from life’s challenges.
I was one of the lucky children who had access to mental health services. In 1989 at nine years old my Mum finally reached breaking point with my mental health, she knew there were some serious issues that as a parent she couldn’t deal with alone and she asked for, and luckily, received help. I received weekly support from a child psychologist until I was sixteen.
To this day, I don’t think I would have survived childhood, and especially my teenage years without that support and the fact that child mental health services are harder to access now and even more in demand is devastating.
My Mum was able to see signs of me experiencing emotional problems as far back as a toddler. Children are not immune to mental health issues and ignoring them can be so detrimental. I have been lucky in many ways, although there have been patches where I have not received support when I’ve needed it as a child I did for the most part and that really helped me stay on the right path and cope with school, hormonal changes, and the emotional challenges every child/teenager has to tackle far better than I may have otherwise.
Nobody knows what children have seen or been through at a young age that will have affected them. Very few people around me knew that I had spent my early years in a toxic violent environment, absorbing all that negativity like a sponge. They didn’t know I was developing a mood disorder, bipolar. The trauma of the my early years and the oncoming illness were a powder keg in my brain.
So many children have trouble dealing with every day emotions, these days everybody is so busy and the world is so hectic. Bullying has lifted to a whole new level where children can no longer escape it by going home from school thanks to social media. The need for more support, care, and to help children learn how to be resilient and more open about their feelings has never been more essential.
For more information about Children’s Mental Health Week visit the website.